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BBC World News America

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U.n. 16, Israel 6, America 6, United Nations 6, Meredith Kercher 5, New York 5, Medvedev 4, Einstein 4, Pakistan 4, Us 4, Amanda Knox 4, Italy 3, Washington 2, Greece 2, Stowe 2, Newman 2, Abbas 2, Tony Blair 2, Vermont 2, Jerusalem 2,
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  WETA    BBC World News America    News/Business.  
   U.S.-targeted nightly newscast.  

    September 23, 2011
    6:00 - 6:30pm EDT  

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a
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wide range of companies, from coall businesses to major rporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america". >> this is a special edition of "bbc world news america" reporting from the united nations in new york. the palestinian president makes a formal bid for full membership status of the u.n. israel voices strong opposition. >> this is a moment of truth and our people are waiting to hear the answer of the world. >> the truth is that we cannot achieve peace through u.n. resolutions but only through direct negotiations between the parties. >> a fight for survival in pakistan. devastating floods have left many of the most vulnerable crying for help that is in short supply. and taking on einstein. scientists say they've measured particles traveling pastor than
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the speed of light. is the world of physics about to be up-ended? welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. today, we are coming to you live from the united nations where, after weeks of anticipation, the palestinian president has made a formal request to become a member state of the u.n., a move which both israel and the united states have vocally opposed, saying a palestinian state can only be achieved through direct talks. the palestinians say 20 years of negotiations have failed and they have no choice. >> new york city disappeared into the fog and the rain. a brewing early autumn storm was not a metaphor for almost 20 years of failed peace negotiations. according to the palestinian
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president, mahmoud abbas. the storm was here when he left his hotel with a line in his speech that the time is now for the palestinian spring, a time he said for independence. president abbas presented the formal application for membership to the u.n. secretary general for a palestinian state based on the west bank and gaza with a capital in jerusalem, land israel captured in the 1967 war. and then the u.n. general assembly, normally sedate, even sleepy, gave him its best welcome. and so did palestinians in ramallah on the west bank. >> president abbas, seen as week by many of them, ignored american pressure to keep their future away from the united nations. president abbas said he wanted to negotiate, but not in the way they'd been doing it since 1993 and he accused israel of apartheid, taking land
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palestinians want for their state to build illegal settlements for jews. >> settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails. this policy is the primary cause of the failure of the peace process. >> israel's path to independence came from a u.n. vote. >> united kingdom abstains. united states, yes. >> in 1947, resolution 181 divided british ruled palestine. the plan created a jewish state alongside one for palestinians with jerusalem kept under international control. the palestinians rejected the plan. israel won the war that followed, which palestinians call the catastrophe. palestinians are now prepared to accept much less than they rejected in 1947.
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they want a state on the west bank and gaza and a capital in east jerusalem, land occupied by israel since the 1967 war. the americans say they'll veto the application if it comes to a vote in the security council. even though, the palestinians believe they're scoring political points over the israelis. the israelis warn that the play action could cause violence by raising unrealistic hopes among palestinian people. benjamin netanyahu condemned the u.n. as a theater of the absurd. in an uncompromising speech, he connected president abbas with the weapons held by hamas, the president's rival palestinian faction in gaza. >> president abbas just said on this podium that the palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. yeah, hopes, dreams, and 10,000
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missiles and rockets supplied by iran not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into gaza from the sinai. what's to present this from happening again in the west bank? >> palestinian supporters sailed along the east river passed the u.n. building. what happened here today shows that a peace deal between israel and the palestinians remains a dream lost in a fog of distrust and hate. jerere bowen, bbc news, new york. >> after today's speeches before the general assembly, the middle east quartet came out with a statement urging israelis and palestinians to return to long stalled negotiations and to reach an agreement by no later than the end of next year. a short time ago, i spoke to former british prime minister tony blair who gave me his reaction to the day's events. >> when you hear speeches of the
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united nations general assembly, particularly when there's strong emotions attached to those speeches, it's not surprising that they seem very far apart about the u.n. has asked them to come back into a negotiation with a scheduled time table and in particular with a proposal that they present a comprehensive plan on borders and security to be key issues within three months and although there's a lot of obviously strong rhetoric in the general assembly, there is belief that now is the time to get back into the negotiations. >> but we still have the palestinians talking about settlements and israelis talking about security. two ships crossing in the night. >> what's the best way of dealing with it? deal with both issues quickly. the key thing about the quartet statement today is not all the preamble and so on but the fact
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that it says that within three months of beginning this then we have comprehensive proposals on borders which includes settlements and security which includes all the israeli concerns. >> the statement itself gives a time table but it's fairly broad on parameters. what are they going to negotiate with? >> we spent most of this week -- we've been literally negotiating day by day, hour by hour, and we would have preferred, i think most members of the quartet, to have had parameters to define things like what do we mean when we say '67 borders and land swaps and what's a nation state for israel and palestinian which it doesn't do because we couldn't bridge all those different positions. however, we came very close to doing that and i think it's going to be far easier for us now once we get to the position of the two parties silting -- sitting down together, to help them bridge those gaps and realize that actually, in many ways, the basic elements of what
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we're trying to do here are pretty much clear and agreed. >> there's been a lot of criticism of the palestinians from the american side for bringing this to the united nations. but it has, at least, hasn't it, focused international opinion and attention on this issue? we have a quartet statement, for example. >> absolutely. i've said all the way through that one of the things the palestinians have done this week is focus everybody on the issue, which is important. and by the way, the position certainly from the quartettas, as stated, the palestinians have a right to come to the united nations and submit their application. it's simply that you need, together with it, a negotiation, otherwise, you know, this application is submitted, it goes into the u.n. machinery but then what? >> you think the application was a good idea? >> i represent the quartet. some think it's a good idea, some think it's a bad idea. i won't get into saying which i think. i'm absolutely sure that whatever happens at the u.n. is not going to work unless
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combined with the negotiations so if you like what's happened with submitting the application, it goes into the u.n. machinery, it gives us some space and some time to put the parties together. and the quartet statement makes it clear, they come together within a month. they agree a final time table for a framework agreement within a year, within three months they table the comprehensive proposals on borders and security and make substantial progress in six months. all the way through that you'll have, if you like, the position where the palestinians will review their status at the u.n. and there will be discussions between the members of the quartet. it gives us a chance to finally get around the table. >> the former prime minister, tony blair, speaking a short while ago. the president of yemen, ali abdullah saleh, has returned to the country after three months in saudi arabia where he was treated for injuries after an assassination attempt. mr. saleh called for cease-fire
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to end several days of violence in sanaa, but there are renewed clashes between those loyal to the president and tribesmen opposed to his rule. unconfirmed reports say 13 have been killed. the funeral of the assassinated former afghan president has taken place in kabul amidst strict security. he was killed on tuesday by a bomb hidden in a turban worn by a man claiming to be a taliban envoy. aid workers in pakistan say it's taking too long to get emergency supplies to parts of the country swamped by flooding. the disaster has killed more than 350 people and around eight million more are affected. our correspondent has traveled to the southern province where there's a desperate shortage of food, shelter and medicine.
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>> camped out alongside stagnant flood waters, more than a month into this disaster, here's what many flood victims call home. though millions are destitute, there are few aid agencies to be seen, but these families have been reached by say "save the children" mobile clinic. for jami, it's just in time. a family lost everything and she has borne the brunt. there's evidence of malnutrition, a constant menace in pakistan's pure south. her grandmother says they've had no money for food or medicine. jami doesn't have the strength to swat away the flies. the team decide to rush her to hospital. we join the sick infant on an
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arduous journey delayed by traffic jams and worse. up ahead is the road to the hospital, or at least it should be. but as you can see, at the moment, it's impossible for a car to pass through. the water level is simply too high. now, we've had to come to a stop here. jami is in the truck, she's hot, she's getting weaker. we have to try to find another way through. eventually, we did. this is the entrance to the main government hospital in the district of merfekas. jami is carried in through a sea of sewage. upstairs, just outside the children's ward, a rubbish tipped. then, agony for jami as a drip is inserted.
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doctors here say she'll need days of treatment for malnutrition and dysentery. her penniless father sharing her pain and terrified he might be handed a bill. finally, jami is settled in a bed but she's got company underneath. if she improves here in a hospital with no clean water or flushing toilets, this child of the floods will be returned to a tent by the roadside. bbc news. >> desperate times for the vulnerable there in pakistan with the floods this year and too little help getting there too slowly. now to the economic crisis capturing the world. not far from here, wall street breathed a sigh of relief today that friday had come. it's been an exhausting week of alarming volatility on the world
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financial markets. officials meeting this week in washington insisted they'd do everything necessary to ensure the stability of the system but haven't we heard that before? here's our economics editor. >> now it's global. the crisis in the euro zone that began in greece nearly two years ago is now threatening confidence and growth around the world. policymakers are running out of time. the euro zone ministers meeting here with the rest of the g-20 don't usually like deadlines because they often miss them but now they've got one. >> i think there is, now, a recognition that there's an epicenter of the global debt crisis and we've got weeks, not months, to sort it out and all the world knows we'll be gathering in france in november and i think that will be the moment when we need to see the comprehensive solution that, i agree, we've been promised for a while, but we need to see. >> the g-20 set itself two deadlines in washington. by the time of the sumt in
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november, they've promised a collective and bold action plan for the global economy. europeans have until november 14 to expand the scope and size of the euro zone's bailout fund, which would then be worth 440 billion euros. those changes would have to be ratified by all 17 members and so far only four have done it. you might think you've heard this before, didn't we have a grand scheme to save the euro at the special summit in july? the answer is, we did, but the feeling of some here is that then the european leaders dropped the ball, they went on holiday, letting uncertainty build in the market and making it much more costly, now, to resolve the crisis. this is the public face of the crisis. the troubles of greece and the fear it will default on its debt. but many say the epicenter of the problem isn't athens but frankfurt. markets don't have confidence that euro zone governments and
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its central bank are on the same page. >> this is the game of chicken that's been going on since the beginning of the crisis. the fiscal authorities of the donor countries who don't want the exposure to the bank on their book and the e.c.b. who argue it shouldn't be on their books. >> the e.c.b. has suggested it would set back supporting countries like italy when the new rescue fund is up and running but the i.m.f.'s most senior official in europe today said that would be a big mistake. >> the e.c.b. can play a role in normalizing markets and that's the intervention we would expect from them. in that sense, the e.c.b. is irreplaceable. >> investors will watch to see whether the new rescue fund passes the german parliament. after that, leaders here say it will be easier to talk about what happens next. there's still a big gap between the market's time table and the politicians'. >> and those markets are so
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skittish at the moment, they're not prepared to wait for all of the long deadlines. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, fishing for an answer. who will run for russian president in march? the two top contenders may know but so far they're not telling. the american, amanda knox, will learn shortly if she can walk free after four years in prison for murdering her british flatmate, meredith kercher. an italian court has been hearing the closing arguments in her appeal. >> amanda knox, one of the world's best known convicted killers, back in court today as her appeal reached its final stages. her family are increasingly confident that they have won the argument that she and her former boyfriend, raffaele sollecito, are innocent. but the italian prosecutors insisted today in closing statements that there was still
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a lot of evidence against her and warned the jury to ignore the spin of the during the appeal, a lot of the forensic scientific evidence gathered at the house where amanda knox and meredith kercher were flatmates has come under intense scrutiny. the victim was the british language student, meredith kercher. she was 21 when she was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death four years ago. her family complaining in a rare interview that she faded from the public's memory. meredith has been completely forgotten, her sister told italian television, but we need to find justice for her. the savage killing of meredith kercher took place at a small house on the edge of the hill top city. in particular, the d.n.a. of raffaele sollecito found on meredith kercher's bra collapse has been dismissed as potentially contaminated and crucially, evidence suggesting that a knife that had amanda
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knox don.n.a. the handle also had meredith kercher's d.n.a. on the blade, has been dismissed as unreliable. there is now a real possibility that amanda knox could walk free along with raffaele sollecito in the next week or so, only leaving the drifter, rudy.a graeder, in prison for what police maintained was a group crime. >> this event here at the rainy and gloomy united nations didn't give us enough to follow these days, scientists are continuing to monitor a six-ton satellite out in space due to crash to earth in the next few hours. most of the satellite is expected to disintegrate upon re-entry but 26 pieces are likely to rain down in a location yet to be pinpointed. reassuringly, nasa says it's unlikely anyone will be hit. we sure hope so. with all eyes on the sky, it's a potential discovery here on
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earth which could up-end the world of science. it was more than a century ago that einstein laid out his formula that e equals mc-squared and ever since, every physics student has been taught that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. now scientists in switzerland believe subatomic particles may have broken that rule. >> amid all the mysteries of the universe, one thing seemed certain, as einstein explained a century ago, nothing can go faster than light. in his famous equation, e stands for the speed of light, key to the connection of energy and matter. now there's a very big shock. in an underground laboratory in italy, researchers can't quite believe what they've been seeing, evidence of tiny particles traveling faster than light. it's just not meant to happen. >> we present to you today this
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anomaly. >> in a webcast and rather cautiously, the scientists revealed their findings. a massive data which they want other researchers to check because what's been found is so astounding. what's so extraordinary about these findings is they appear to challenge our understanding of how the universe works. the results come from an experiment underground in europe, from the physics lab in cern in geneva, scientists have been firing neutrinos through the rock all the way to another lab more than 400 miles away. until now, nothing has traveled faster than light. that's been a constant feature of modern physics. but the neutrinos fired to italy reached it very slightly faster than expected, a fraction of a second quicker than light. the measurements could be wrong or there's some unknown factor at work or this will revolutionize physics. the results analyzed at the lab
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at cern have triggered a wave of reaction. some scientists say they just can't be right. others want everything checked very thoroughly. all scientists, by nature, are skeptical. but if this is proven to be correct, a big "if," then this will revolutionize all of the physics we understand so far and it will change all of the textbooks and have all sorts of potential applications in terms of energy production. >> so, did einstein get it wrong? his theory has stood unchallenged for a century but science has a habit of challenging established ideas. a great flare rises from the sun. its light will reach us in eight minutes. scientists have long believed you can't travel faster. tonight, they're no longer quite so sure. >> all week here at the u.n., it's been a non-stop gathering of world leaders. next year, some of them will be
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here, others will not. who, for example, will be the russian president addressing the u.n. assembly? ♪ gone fishing >> they may enjoy going fishing together and running russia together, but medvedev and putin are not equal partners. he has the bigger fish and russia believes he has more power. speculation that putin may be planning a return to the kremlin. in the murky world of russian politics, it's unclear which will run for president next march. mr. putin certainly looks like he's on the campaign trail. recently, he's been revving up his profile. he's even been giving concerts. well, kind of. ♪ not to be outdone, this week, president medvedev visited the
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bolshoi ballet. he doesn't look ready to exit the political stage, either. and his supporters are urging him to fish for a second term. >> mr. medvedev has every reason to be satisfied or even proud of his term and presidency and i don't see any historical precedent when a president like this, with a very good record, considering, would all of a sudden say, no, i'm not running for the second term, when it's available for you. >> so, with less-than-six months ago before the presidential election, russians still don't know which of the country's two big fish will angle for the presidency? will it be putin or medvedev. but unlike fishing, which is a relaxing pastime, this political waiting game is making a lot of people here very nervous. in the corridors of power, officials are uncertain who to
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side with and many investors are holding on to their money until there's clarity. but is the question of who is going to run a red herring? kremlin critics say it masks the truth that russians have no genuine political choice. >> let's look at reality. they follow the same pattern of power. they have the same agenda, and medvedev being putin's assistant, one of the gang, for 20 years. of course he became a kind of putin clone. ♪ gone fishing >> if that's true, perhaps it doesn't really matter who russians elect as their next president. vladimir putin will still be king of the pond. >> that's the end of the special edition of "bbc world news america."
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from all of us here at the u.n. in new york, thanks for watching. have a great weekend. make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank.
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>> union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was prd by k kcet, los angeles. ce
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